ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Insight on Herbals Eludes Doctors, Patients Alike
Ginkgo No Shield Against Alzheimer's
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Safe Toys for Dogs
BONES & JOINTS
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid Arthritis Hits Women Harder
High Birth Weight Doubles Risk of Rheumatoid Arthritis
CANCER
Occaisonal Dieting May Cut Breast Cancer, Study Says
Smoking Exposure Now Linked to Colon, Breast Cancers
Mineral May Reduce High-Risk Bladder Disease
CAREGIVING
Baby's Sleep Position May Not Affect Severity of Head Flattening
With Alzheimer's, Health-Care Costs Could Triple
Study Casts Doubt on Influential Hospital Safety Survey
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Secondhand Smoke Quickly Affects Blood Vessels
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
Mercury in Fish Linked to High Blood Pressure
COSMETIC
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
DENTAL, ORAL
Holistic Dentistry-My View
Good Oral Hygiene May Protect Against Heart Infections
Obesity Boosts Gum Disease Risk
DIABETES
Red-Grape Compound May Improve Diabetes
Lifestyle Factors Tied to Older Adults' Diabetes Risk
Diabetes Linked to Cognitive Problems
DIET, NUTRITION
To Feel Better, Low-Fat Diet May Be Best
Vinegar Might Help Keep Off Pounds
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Greenhouse Gases Hazardous to Your Health
Short-Term Air Pollution Exposure May Damage DNA
Sunken, Unexploded Bombs Pose Cancer Risk
EYE CARE, VISION
Green Tea May Ward Off Eye Disease
Gene-Transfer Proves Safe for Vision Problem
Too Much Sun, Too Few Antioxidants Spell Eye Trouble
FITNESS
Diet, Exercise May Slow Kidney Disease Progression
Super Bowl Loss Can 'Kill' Some Fans
Will the Wii Keep You Fit?
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
GENERAL HEALTH
Keep Safety in Mind While Your Kids Are Cooling Off in the Water
Living With Less TV, More Sweat Boosts Weight Loss
Keep Fire Safety in Mind as You Celebrate
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Heart Disease May Be Prevented By Taking Fish Oils, Study Shows
An Apple a Day May Help Keep Heart Disease Away
Vitamin B3 May Help Repair Brain After a Stroke
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Backpack Safety Should Be on Back-to-School Lists
Play Creatively as a Kid, Be a Healthier Adult
MEN'S HEALTH
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Lots of Sex May Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
MENTAL HEALTH
Mind Exercise Might Help Stroke Patients
Reminiscing Helps Build Emotional Strength
Keeping a Healthy Holiday Balance
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
For Baby and Mom Alike, Breast-Feeding May Be Best
Pregnant Women Exposed To Certain Pollutants Could Lower Childs IQ
Before Conceiving, Take Folic Acid for One Full Year
SENIORS
High-Impact Activity May Be Good for Old Bones
Protein Deposits May Show Up Before Memory Problems Occur, Study Says
Laughter Can Stimulate a Dull Appetite
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Natural Childbirth Moms More Attuned to Babies' Cry
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Lifting Weights Can Ease Arm Swelling in Breast Cancer Survivors
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Tanning Beds Shown To Raise Cancer Risk, Study Says

TUESDAY, July 28 (HealthDay News) -- The International Agency for Research on Cancer on Tuesday moved tanning beds to its highest cancer risk category -- "carcinogenic to humans," according to a new report.

Previously, the agency had classified sunlamps and tanning beds as "probably" carcinogenic, so the move puts the devices a notch higher in terms of risk. It also echoes calls by some U.S. experts to place tougher warnings and restrictions on tanning bed use.

"The use of tanning beds can be deleterious to your health and we hope to encourage governments to formulate restrictions and regulations for the use of tanning beds," said report coauthor Beatrice Secretan, from the Cancer Monograph Working Group at the International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, France. The Agency is part of the World Health Organization (WHO).

The first priority of the WHO is to restrict the use of tanning beds by those under 18, Secretan said. "If controls are put in place it will reduce the risks of the users or deter people from using them," she said.

One U.S. expert agreed. "This new report confirms and extends the prior recommendation of the American Cancer Society that the use of tanning beds is dangerous to your health, and should be avoided," said Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer at the American Cancer Society.

The report is published in the August issue of The Lancet Oncology.

In June, scientists from nine countries met at the International Agency for Research on Cancer to pore over data associating tanning beds with the risk of skin cancer.

Their review concluded that the risk of melanoma increases by 75 percent when use of tanning beds and sunlamps begins before 30 years of age. In addition, several studies provided evidence of a link between the use of UV-emitting tanning devices and melanoma of the eye.

The genetic mutation caused by UV radiation has previously been attributed to UVB radiation alone. However, the same mutation was found in the skin of mice exposed to UVA radiation, and that radiation caused the mice to develop tumors, the researchers noted.

These findings caused the agency to reclassify all UV radiation -- including UVA, UVB and UVC -- as carcinogenic to humans. Previously the agency had classified UVA, UVB and UVC radiation as "probably carcinogenic to humans."

"The report firmly establishes ultraviolet radiation as a human carcinogen," the American Cancer Society's Lichtenfeld said.

"Young women in particular are the heaviest users of tanning beds, and are at the greatest risk of causing harm to themselves," he said. "This report also puts to rest the argument that tanning with UVA light is safe."

A representative of the tanning bed industry was less impressed by the ruling, however.

"The fact that the IARC has put tanning bed use in the same category as sunlight is hardly newsworthy," said Dan Humiston, president of the Indoor Tanning Association (ITA). "The UV light from a tanning bed is equivalent to UV light from the sun, which has had a group 1 classification since 1992. Some other items in this category are red wine, beer and salted fish. The ITA has always emphasized the importance of moderation when it comes to UV light from either the sun or a tanning bed."

Currently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) each regulate tanning beds and sunlamps. The FDA regulates labeling of the devices and the FTC regulates advertising claims about the devices.

The FDA currently requires tanning salons to direct all customers to wear protective eye goggles and advises consumers to limit their exposure to tanning devices, and avoid them if you have certain medical conditions such as lupus or diabetes or are susceptible to cold sores.

In addition, the FDA requires labels on these devices that warn of skin aging, skin cancer and eye injury. However, in 2007 the FDA began a review of these warnings and is considering strengthening its warnings about the risk of skin cancer and eye damage, according to the agency.

Another expert, Dr. Jeffrey C. Salomon, an assistant clinical professor of plastic surgery at Yale University School of Medicine, believes the time has come for the FDA to restrict the use of tanning beds and to issue stronger warnings of their dangers.

"It's hard to raise the level of concern regarding the use of tanning beds any higher with what is being reported as a 75 percent increase in the risk of melanoma when tanning beds are used before the age of 30," Salomon reasoned. "Tanning beds now reside in the highest category of potential cancer risk, carcinogenic to humans. Legislation to restrict tanning bed use by minors and a requirement for a black box warning to consumers is now necessary," he said.

SOURCES: Beatrice Secretan, Ph.D., Cancer Monograph Working Group, International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France; Len Lichtenfeld, M.D., deputy chief medical officer, American Cancer Society; Jeffrey C. Salomon, M.D., assistant clinical professor, plastic surgery, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn.; Dan Humiston, president, Indoor Tanning Association; August 2009, The Lancet Oncology Published on: July 29, 2009